Soldiers heading for Afghanistan speak of sadness at deaths

Brigadier Doug Chalmers

Brigadier Doug Chalmers

First published in Video

SOLDIERS from the South who are heading out to Afghanistan have spoken of their sadness at the death of six fellow servicemen.

The 17 Port and Maritime Regiment based at Marchwood, near Southampton, is among the units heading out to Helmand Province as part of Operation Herrick 16, to work with Afghan security forces.

Units which they are replacing include the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, also known as the Tigers, who are heading to Germany.

During a demonstration at the Copehill Down training camp on Salisbury Plain a GR4 Tornado fighter jet performed a fly past and an RAF Chinook helicopter was used in a simulated rescue.

The secretary of state for defence Phillip Hammond also arrived to speak to servicemen after the six soldiers were killed when their Warrior vehicle was blown up in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Soldiers from various units spoke to the Echo about the loss of their colleagues and Brigadier Doug Chalmers, chief of Operation Herrick 16, said their sense of resolve had been “quite humbling”.

Captain Phil Durham, of the First Battalion Welsh Guards, who boarded at Winchester College, was among those who spoke of the “tragedy” but said they were “really making a difference” in the country.

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